Technique Thursday: Computational Modeling

With neuroscience and computer science bleeding into one another, there are a number of ways that computer programming can help in understanding the brain. This can be achieved via computational modeling. Computational modeling is the intersection of math, physics, and computer science that is used to study the behavior of complex systems via computer models. … Continue reading Technique Thursday: Computational Modeling

Seance Sunday: A Mechanical model of human learning and memory Part 1

This week's Séance Sunday will be on a paper by D. E. Broadbent. The paper begins with the proposition that people hate model building. The paper's purpose is to describe a very basic model of the human perceptual system. The above figure is the simple model for attention. Needed are a Y-shaped tubes and some … Continue reading Seance Sunday: A Mechanical model of human learning and memory Part 1

Techniques Thursday: Memory Sleuth: How to tell a memory is false

In light of an earlier article I wrote on the vulnerability of memories, and how false memories can be planted in our minds, I decided to write an article on how to tell a memory is false. Consider Madrigal (yes, it's the name of a book character, from Dreams of Gods and Monsters if you … Continue reading Techniques Thursday: Memory Sleuth: How to tell a memory is false

Manic Monday: Loftus lost in the Mall

We've heard about how false memories can be "planted" in someone's mind. For example, people can be convinced they committed a crime they never did commit--in just a few hours! Others have been convinced they were raped, or molested as children. In 1999, Dr. Elizabeth F. Loftus conducted a study that greatly impacted our understanding of … Continue reading Manic Monday: Loftus lost in the Mall

Findings Friday: The brain can help you burn fat

With many individuals pronouncing "losing weight" as their new years' resolutions (I'm one of those individuals, I might add), here is some interesting new research: The brain may instruct the body to burn more fat. Now, around our bodies, fat is stored in fat cells, or adipocytes. This is called "white fat". Around our necks, … Continue reading Findings Friday: The brain can help you burn fat

Technique Thursday: Deep Brain Stimulation: Electrocuting the brain

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves inserting and implanting electrodes within the brain. The electrodes produce electrical impulses that serve to regulate the brain's abnormal impulses. These electrode impulses can also serve to modulate neurochemistry. A pacemaker-like device controls the electrode impulses, ensuring that the right frequency is delivered. The device is connected to the electrodes … Continue reading Technique Thursday: Deep Brain Stimulation: Electrocuting the brain

Manic Monday: Electroshock and LSD: Child Experiments

In the 1950s, Tulane University doctors performed a craniotomy on a 17-year-old girl who was considered “retarded.” In childhood, she had this label put on her, and in adolescence, she was further diagnoses as schizophrenic. The craniotomy, therefore, was a treatment for her schizophrenia. An incision was made through her cortex via the lateral ventricle, … Continue reading Manic Monday: Electroshock and LSD: Child Experiments